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Professional Writing

Courses in UMD English’s Professional Writing Program teach the research, analysis, writing and language skills that students will need in their lives beyond the classroom.

The Professional Writing Program (PWP) provides Maryland undergraduates with practice in the writing and document design skills necessary for success in their careers.

PWP courses help students transition from writing academic papers to writing for the workplace, where the audience is not teachers but professionals who need information to make decisions.

In each professional writing course, students learn to

  • Identify and analyze audiences
  • Establish credibility
  • Research topics in a specific professional discipline
  • Write and edit for readability and suitability to audience and purpose
  • Critique their own and others’ writing  

PWP courses address the needs of majors across the spectrum. Whichever PWP course students take, they will consider specific problems associated with their majors and research and develop successful solutions to those problems. In the process, students get hands-on experience writing in the genres they will encounter in their careers. The skills they acquire in their PWP classes foster responsible participation in our rapidly changing society.

PWP faculty members—with years of expertise in business, the humanities, journalism, law, medicine, the sciences and technical writing—know how to encourage an entrepreneurial spirit and agility in students’ thinking. These abilities are increasingly important in a global society that shares specialized information across disciplines and national borders.

Campus surveys consistently show that most undergraduates believe their PWP course taught them how to combine thorough research with careful writing to produce credible and persuasive professional documents.

Professional Writing Courses

Professional writing faculty urge students to register for the professional writing course that matches their majors and their planned careers:

  • ENGL 390: “Science Writing” 
  • ENGLISH 391: “Argumentation/Advanced Composition”
  • ENGL 392: “Legal Writing”
  • ENGL 393: “Technical Writing”
  • ENGL 394: “Business Writing”
  • ENGL 395: “Writing for the Health Professions”
  • Special Topics in Professional Writing:
    • ENGL 398A: “Writing for the Arts”
    • ENGL 398B: “Writing for Social Entrepreneurship”
    • ENGL 398C: “Writing Case Studies and Investigative Reports”
    • ENGL 398E: “Writing about Economics”
    • ENGL 398L: “Scholarly Writing in the Humanities”
    • ENGL 398N: “Writing for Nonprofits”
    • ENGL 398R: “Nonfiction Narrative Writing and Editing”
    • ENGL 398V: “Writing about the Environment”

Every professional writing course teaches the research, analysis, writing and language skills that students will need in their lives beyond the classroom. Select the course that will address your individual needs.

Professional Writing Minor

The minor in professional writing offers students opportunities to engage deeply with the theory and practice of writing, editing and designing print and digital documents for professional workplaces, civic organizations and community deliberations.

Learn more about the professional writing minor.

Blended and Online Learning

Blended or "hybrid" learning courses take advantage of both online and traditional classroom environments.

Blended Learning courses have the same goals and are worth the same credit as their traditional counterparts while harnessing the potential of online resources. These courses seek to provide students with dynamic learning opportunities coupled with increased flexibility.

Learn more about  blended and online learning.


Senior Lecturers

Ross Angelella

Senior Lecturer, English

1128D Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

Karen Angeline

Senior Lecturer, English

College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-3823

Catherine Bayly

Senior Lecturer, English

2109 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

Christopher Crane

Senior Lecturer, English

1204 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(410) 507-6938

Kelly Cresap

Senior Lecturer, English

1234 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-3767

Thomas Earles

Assistant Director, English

1205 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742


Mark Fitzgerald

Senior Lecturer, English

1208 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-4028

Mark Forrester

Principal Lecturer, English

1226 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

Pamela Gerhardt

Principal Lecturer, English

1206 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-3850

Peter Grybauskas

Senior Lecturer, English

2210 Tawes Hall
College Park MD, 20742